January 28, 2008

Trees

Looking again at the news, I see that one thing being done in the UK for the week of activities in remembering the Holocaust, is planting trees. That reminded me of something ... I looked and found that this years Jewish Tu B'Shvat was January 22.

Tu B'Shvat is the New Year of the trees. It's not a Biblical Festival but connected with the beginning of taxes on produce for first fruits. This reminded me of a site I told the MOPS gals about last year. If you have kids and are interested in stories and activities, including coloring pages, about the Jewish Celebrations, this site is for you.

One way people celebrate the birthdays of trees is to plant trees. People collect money for planting trees in Israel. In America we have Earth Day, April 22, which is a much better time of the year for planting a tree where I live!

Jews are without the Jerusalem Temple and not much of an agrarian society anymore ... So many traditions involved the temple and sacrifices. Does their calendar of traditions help in remembering their identity? Even us, who are not Jewish and in America, what helps us remember our identity? I like little remembrances like this to help me stop a moment and remember that all I have is a gift, not just 10% tithe or whatever figure. And also to remember that I'm a steward of the earth.
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